Morning Look: Cavs Bench vs. Wiz Fans
I took some grief last week for calling the Wiz-Cavs playoff series the best D.C. sports moment of 2008, and indeed, maybe that was going too far. I'm chatting about my best of 2008 list at 11; submit your questions here. Even Brendan Haywood seemed skeptical last night, when I told him about my list and what was No. 1.
But still, yesterday's Wiz-Cavs game, the first in D.C. since those playoffs, reminded me why I made that call. And yeah, most of the original antagonists weren't on the floor--Gilbert was who knows where, DeShawn was in velvet, Brendan was standing in the tunnel watching on the big screen, Damon Jones plays for Milwaukee, Larry Hughes plays for Chicago
Cleveland , and Z was back in Ohio. Luckily, the Cavs bench stepped up to feed the nonsense fire.
So sometime early in the fourth quarter, the Cavs bench decided they would stand up en masse for the rest of the game. It was a fine plan, except it meant that the people sitting directly behind the Cavs bench, from the first row to about the 20th row, would not be able to see anything that happened on that end of the court. In the spirit of the rivalry, they took it pretty well.
"They've got no class," said Wall Matthews, whose $300 seats were pretty useless with a bunch of tall men standing right in front of him. "That's what they learn in the D League. You know, they're from Cleveland, what do you expect?"
"We'll say 'Sit Down!' and they'll score a basket and turn around and give us a look," said Evan Brown.
"They're relishing it," added Kelly Sutherland.
"I'm trying to get some refunds," said Karl Dobyns, a season-ticket holder who complained to several ushers without relief. "The city of Cleveland owes us some refunds. These tickets are $125 a piece, and I don't want to see their backs all night. I travel from Baltimore every game, and can't see the game because they want to stand up? Hell no, that ain't right."
These fans all attend lots of games, and all thought this was a pretty unusual circumstance, although the Cavs reserves apparently disagreed. I actually asked one of the standing reserves, JJ Hickson, about the tactic after the game, and he said they frequently stand for long stretches. "We were just creating our own energy," he said. I asked if he heard the fans complaining; "Yeah, but that's not our problem," he said.
Lorenzen Wright even turned around to the aggrieved locals and made a choking sign at one point, which was sort of funny. But then, somehow, the Wizards won.
"I guess you're gonna sit down now, right!?!?!?!" yelled one fan, who left before I could interview him. "It's poetic justice!" someone else yelled.
"It makes it that much sweeter, that much sweeter," Sutherland said.
"Another meaningless win!" added Dylan Matthews. "It's awesome."
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